Today we visited the site of the Battle of Trebbia – the first major conflict Hannibal and his men had with the Roman army after their unprecedented march through the Alps in 218 B.C. About 40 elephants made it through the mountains, and they helped win a victory for the Carthaginians, mainly by demoralizing the enemy. The only trouble with elephants is that they are liable to panic and charge the wrong army!
Monumento Sibaud – a tribute in the Bobbio Valley to the Waldenses’ GLorious Return. The Waldenses were exiled from their homeland in modern Italy, and resettled in Geneva and other Protestant lands. But they determined to return to their homeland in modern Italy, so they secretly undertook the difficult journey through the Alps. When they arrived, their troubles were far from over, as their valleys were controlled by the hostile Catholic forces of the Duke of Savoy.
The Waldenses suffered much persecution and faced opposition from all sides. They had to be well prepared to defend themselves. These enormous muskets would have been used by their sentries. According to tradition, one was supposed to have belonged to their famous general Joshua Janavel.
This was one of the Bibles that the ‘Poor of Lyon’ (another name for the Waldensians) translated from Latin into French. It dates to 1580.
Today we are in Waldensian Country learning about the early Reformation. The Casa Valdese was and still is used as a meeting place for Waldensian leaders.
This is the City Hall of Geneva, where the Unitarian Michael Servetus was sentenced to death. He came to Geneva after escaping prison, where he was being held for heresy. Two Catholic countries were trying to have him executed. Calvin is often censured for burning him at the stake, but in actuality he thought it was a cruel form of execution, and the decision was not made by him.
Today we visited Geneva – which was a city of refuge in the Alps, to many Protestants fleeing persecution in the 16th century. It was also a center of missionary activity. Thousands were trained here and sent out all over the world.
Stay tuned over the next two weeks as we’re on a tour/film shoot in Europe. We’ll post pictures and stories along the way, from Geneva, Rome, Wittenburg, and many places in between.